I have always loved books as you know, but I think these few days gave me even more insight into the work of birthing a book. We have the material, perhaps too much material, and we are struggling to find the form. What exactly is it we are here to say?
Perhaps, what we most struggled with is how personal to make the book, and, how to probe more deeply and clearly into our own insights. I made an effort to go in and more graphically explain the chemo process. That was painful for me. Perhaps, you remember the woman who sobbed in the chemo room when she saw us there, and contemplated joining our "little group." Somehow I glossed over that at the time, and what it was for me. I am trying now to go more carefully into the emotional pain of the chemo process. I was unable to do it at the time. I was living in a lovely bubble of protection. It was how I survived.
I am also surprised at how unclear much of my writing seems when I view it from here. I was living in a chemo-mind place of acceptance, openness, and non-judgment. I struggle now with the critic, and balancing what was then, with what seems discernment now. How do we balance then, and now? We want to show our changes, and, in that, we need to honor what is there, though, at times, it seems a bit "floaty" to me. This balancing act is still unclarified.
Jane worked with "the still point," and how, for her, she has come to feel she needs me to find it. She realizes she could take the time to write, for me, and those moments, that still point, have come to have great meaning for her. How does she create the place to write, that still point, for herself? She had seen it as something to go in and out of. I said, that, for me, the point is to carry the still point with us, to be the still point, and expand it out. I am trying to become a "still area," or "still circle." I want to live in a place of peace and ease that is myself, no matter what else is going on outside. I want people to enter the arena that is me, and feel peace.
I am with all of this as I am home today. I never unpacked from before, so realized I took Nantucket sand to Inverness. It seemed right. We were staying in a place on the bay, and I sat, entranced. Our mothers were part of this time.
I thought of how mine would have loved to sit and look out from our space. Jane said she couldn't remember her mother ever just sitting. I think we began to realize, in this time together, how different we are, in some ways, from each other, and, of course, how that will be the strength of the book. We are also much the same. We are trying to unite our efforts in a breast stroke, where each of us is an arm, two arms functioning as one. We became more aware of the collaborative part of the book in this time together. Jane needs her arm to be equal to mine. She is working on that, for herself, as the focus throughout the process was more on me.
Another question is how much we now bring in of what else was going on. Neither of us was living in a vacuum, and yet, what we presented might have made it seem so. Do we present more now? Is it needed, or interesting? I do think we need to look at it, and, my sense is that it doesn't belong in the book. I think focus is key. How did I go through treatment? What was it for me, and what was it for my friend, and friends, and how is everyone now?
Jane is looking at how it is for her now that I am "well." I am wondering how that is for others. You rallied to support me. I learned to receive. Where are we now? The tide has ebbed, and we all will discover new places to reside. How do we relate now, as strength returns to me, stability?
I am grateful to be home, and I am very tired. I welcome the fatigue. It is time to rest. I was home for almost nine months. Now, I have been out. I climb into my shell for a bit, welcome the fog, and sleep.
May your weekend swell, meaningful and deep.
I am so very happy to be home. I enjoyed my time away, and it is so true. "There is no place like home!"